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Although temperatures were on the mild side Wednesday, the summer heat has producers utilizing their pivots, like this one along Shady Bend Road north of Highway 30, to keep their crops watered and cool. (Independent/Barrett Stinson)

This week, area residents have seen a respite from the hot weather. Temperatures have been pleasant with daytime highs in the upper 70s and low 80s. But as the weekend approaches, it will heat up again, nearing 100 degrees on Saturday before another cool front brings temperatures down by the start of the work week.

After a morning low of about 60 Thursday, the high will be near 86. There is a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms Thursday night. The low will be about 69.

On Friday, there is a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1 p.m. The high will be near 91. Winds will be from the south at 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Friday night’s low will be about 70.

Saturday will be the hottest day before it gets cooler again, with a high near 97 and a low of about 71.

On Sunday, there is a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1 p.m., with a high near 89.

Sunday night will see a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms, with a low of about 67.

On Monday, temperatures will be near 82, with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Monday night will have a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms, with a low of about 65.

Cooler temperatures will prevail again on Tuesday, with a high near 84. There is a 30% chance of thunderstorms and showers.

During June and so far through July, Grand Island has experienced above-normal temperatures before the cooler weather prevailed this week. June’s average daily high was 6.3 degrees above the 30-year average. So far this month, the average daily high has been 1.5 degrees above the 30-year average. Grand Island precipitation since June 1 is at 3.19 inches. The 30-year average for that time period is 5.78 inches. Last year, it was 6.25 inches of precipitation since June 1.

Last week, a fierce thunderstorm that produced wind gusts of more than 70 mph damaged a number of area crop fields. Many cornfields survived the storm. But the corn crop, statewide, has been behind the five-year average on silking.

Crop conditions

— The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday the corn condition statewide rated 2% very poor, 6% poor, 22% fair, 49% good and 21% excellent. Corn silking was 19%, ahead of the 8% last year, but behind the five-year average of 29%. Corn at the dough stage was 1%.

— The USDA reported that state soybean condition rated 2% very poor, 6% poor, 19% fair, 54% good and 19% excellent. Soybeans blooming was 57%, well ahead of the 23% last year and ahead of the 43% average. Setting pods was 13%, ahead of the 4% average.

— Winter wheat condition rated 4% very poor, 13% poor, 38% fair, 42% good and 3% excellent. Winter wheat harvested was 50%, well ahead of the 11% last year and ahead of the 40% average.

Based on July 1 conditions, Nebraska’s winter wheat production is forecast at 40.8 million bushels, down 26% from last year, according to the USDA. Average yield is forecast at 48 bushels per acre, down 9 bushels from 2019. Area to be harvested for grain is estimated at 850,000 acres, down 12% from a year ago.

— State oats condition rated 2% very poor, 10% poor, 28% fair, 54% good and 6% excellent. Oats harvested was 30%, ahead of the 24% average.

Nebraska oat production is forecast at 1.36 million bushels, up 20% from last year. Average yield is forecast at 68 bushels per acre, up 5 bushels from 2019. Area to be harvested for grain is estimated at 20,000 acres, up 11% from a year ago.

— Sorghum condition rated 0% very poor, 3% poor, 44% fair, 45% good and 8% excellent. Sorghum headed was 12%, equal to last year and ahead of the 8% average.

— Dry edible bean condition rated 0% very poor, 1% poor, 18% fair, 72% good and 9% excellent. Dry edible beans blooming was 20%. Setting pods was 1%.

— Pasture and range conditions rated 4% very poor, 14% poor, 34% fair, 46% good and 2% excellent.

— Statewide, topsoil moisture supplies rated 12% very short, 35% short, 52% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 33% short, 59% adequate and 1% surplus.

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